The union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved extension for the contribution, both 12% employees' share and 12% employers' share under Employees Provident Fund (EPF), totalling 24% for another three months from June to August 2020. This extension was given as part of the package announced by the government under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) or Aatmanirbhar Bharat in the light of COVID-19, a Pandemic.
For the wage months of June, July and August 2020, the scheme will cover all establishments having up to 100 employees and 90% of such employees earning less than Rs15,000 monthly wage.
This approval is in addition to the existing scheme for the wage months of March to May 2020 approved on 15 April 2020. The total estimated expenditure for this is of Rs4,860 crore. Over 72 lakh employees in 3.67 lakh establishments will be benefitted.
The salient features of the proposal are as under:
i. About 72.22 lakh workers working in 3.67 lakh establishments will be benefited and would likely to continue on their payrolls despite disruptions.
ii. Government will provide Budgetary Support of Rs.4800 crore for the year 2020-21 for this purpose.
iii. The beneficiaries entitled for 12% employers' contribution for the months of June to August 2020 under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) will be excluded to prevent overlapping benefit.
iv. Due to prolonged lockdown, it was felt that businesses continue to face financial crisis as they get back to work. On 13 May 2020, the finance minister had announced extension of EPF support for business and workers for another three months or for the wage months of June, July, and August 2020.
The steps taken by the government from time to time to ameliorate the hardships faced by the low paid workers are well accepted by the stakeholders, a release from Press Information Bureau (PIB) says.